2002 Cyclists Count at Quorn Up
by Peter Hopkins
Members may be interested in my third June cyclist count, conducted on the A6 (18/6/2002). As in previous years, I chose a weekday which was pleasantly mild, and counted those cycling into and out of Loughborough between 0750 and 0850. I was positioned at the Quorn traffic lights, as last year (in 2000 I was at Woodthorpe Lane end).
I am including the previous figures for comparison. You will see that the current position is very close to that of 2 years ago. I cannot account for last year's depressing drop. Whilst it is encouraging that the situation has after all not worsened, it must also be acknowledged that there is on the other hand no improvement since 2000 - in spite of government policy & the efforts made by volunteers like ourselves.
|Year||Into Loughborough||Out of Loughborough|
1. It is just possible that the 2002 figures may have been inflated by the fact that the count was during Bike to Work Week, but I don't think that any increase would be substantial. Certainly, there were a few Loughborough Grammar School boys counted, because my former colleague Simon Leese encouraged Bike to School after seeing the article in the Echo (& cycled in himself from Woodhouse). (But see Note 3 below).
2. The count is probably not done at the best time to produce the most favourable results for us. In the 4 or 5 minutes it took me to cycle from the cemetery to Quorn before I started (approx 0745-0749), I met 12 cyclists who were of course not included in the count. On the other hand, the numbers drop off quite sharply after 0830, with only the odd one or two cyclists in the last 5 mins (0845-0850).
On reflection, those starting work at 0900 would obviously be hard pressed if they were still at Quorn lights at 0845! So perhaps I should begin earlier. On this year's showing, an earlier hour (say 0730-0830) would produce well over 50 cycling in. Most of the LGS boys I passed were in the earlier pre-0750 dozen, so did not affect the count.
3. I was also at Quorn lights to look out for traffic infringements of the kind Roger has witnessed. Most left-turn drivers (i.e. travelling A6 twds L'boro, but turning L to Woodhouse), waited patiently in their correct outside lane, even when the cyclists' lane & box were clear. However, three (one car, one pick-up truck & one small bus) DID cut in to move up the inside of the queue. There were no cyclists coming at the time, but I HOPE these 3 drivers had checked their mirrors.
Two cyclists travelling towards L'boro, seeing no turning or crossing traffic threatening them, ignored the red light & rode straight over while all the vehicles waited. It was not dangerous, but was of course illegal, and unfortunately this kind of highly-visible infringement - rather like pavement riding - does not help us at all when we get on our high horses about motorists' behaviour.
Bike Week 2003
Bike Weel 2003 will run from 14 to 22 June. Cancer Research is to remain the national charity partner and a new steering group is to be formed, including the major funders i.e. the Department for Transport and most of the organisations that supported the event in 2002.
British Medical Journal says its war on the roads
The BMJ devoted its issue of the 11 May to the theme of 'War on the Roads' , the enemy being the car. The issue included items on :
- The association of driver sleepiness with a substantially increased risk of car crash resulting in serious injury or death.
- The case for pop-up car bonnets to reduce pedestrian and cyclist deaths.
- The proper enforcement of traffic safety laws
- Risk compensation - are safer roads promoting risky driving?
The article on risk compensation led to rebuttal of the whole idea including a claim that there was no evidence that this would apply to cycle helmet wearing. This brought John Adams and Meyer Hillman into the debate which can be viewed at http://ip.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/8/2/e1
New Campaign Website address - ldcuc.org.uk
With registration of Website addresses becoming much easier we have registered ldcuc.org.uk and taken a low cost diversion service. This operates in a similar way to the "bigfoot" service we have been using to date. We will maintain the "bigfoot.com/~ldcuc" address for the next 6 months. If you have access to the Web and have the Campaigns site amongst your favourites, please amend the address.
The new address is already functional and the site now includes a "children's page" designed by Sophie Catt
Transport - some interesting statistics
August was the peak month for total distance travelled in Britain in 1998/2000. Walking varied little through the year but cycling followed seasonal patterns. Saturday was the busiest day of the week in terms of distance travelled. The evening peak time for car driver trips was 5pm-6pm. The peak time for walking, car passenger and bus trips was 3pm-4pm.
Source: National Travel Survey
Average distances travelled per person in Britain per year in 1996/98: walking 193 miles (244 miles in 1985/86), bicycle 38 (44), bus 344 (406), train 290 (292), car 5292 (3796).
Source: National Travel Survey
Britons travelled an average total of 6843 miles a year in 1998/2000, 6 per cent up on 1989/91. In 1989/91 the average journey was 5.9 miles but this increased by 12 per cent to 6.6 miles in 1998/2000.
Source: National Travel Survey
European research suggests that the external costs of transport (accidents, pollution, climate change, congestion and noise) amount to nearly 10 per cent of GDP. Over 90 per cent of these externalities are attributable to road transport.
Source: International Union of Railways and Community of European Railways
In 1998 transport was responsible for 34 per cent of UK energy consumption.
English Regions Cycling Development Team Announced
AEA Technology plc has announced thirteen new appointments to the English Regions Cycling Development Team. The Team has been recruited to work on the three year contract awarded to AEA Technology by the Department for Transport this May to bring about improvements in conditions for cyclists throughout England. The team will help deliver the National Cycling Strategy (NCS), of which the principal target is to quadruple cycling over 1996 levels by 2012, and will report directly to the National Cycling Strategy Board for England.
Of the newly appointed team, ten will be regionally based. The person covering Loughborough will be Sally Killips, Cycling Development Coordinator for the East Midlands
A further three individuals have been appointed to support the regional activities. These are:
* Paul Rosen, Cycling Development Coordinator - Motivational Factors and Promotion
* Ken Spence, Cycling Development Coordinator - Road Safety and Cycling Training
* Alex Sully, Cycling Development Coordinator - Engineering Guidance and Professional Development
Steven Norris, chair of the National Cycling Strategy Board for England, said "I am delighted that the English Regions Cycling Development Team is being strengthened by another thirteen staff. Delivering the NCS target of quadrupling the number of cycling trips by 2012 will be a challenge, but I am confident that the appointment of these well qualified and highly regarded people to the Team will mark another step in the right direction for cycling in England."
The team members will commence their appointment on Tuesday 17th September at a four-day training workshop. The regionally-based Coordinators will then have responsibilities for assessing each Highway Authority's local cycling strategy as part of it's Local Transport Plan (LTP), and subsequent Annual Progress Report (APR). They will then audit the implementation of the strategy and assess the quality of cycling facilities on a local level, identify problems preventing the growth of cycling in an area and seek solutions to overcome them. They will facilitate local networks and partnerships of stakeholders in the growth of cycling, for example, with local authorities, schools, primary health care trusts, public transport operators, employers and cycling groups. And last, but not least, the team will identify priority actions to enhance the development of cycling in England.
Chair Ariadne Tampion firstname.lastname@example.org 211468
Secretary Clive Davis C.Davis@connectfree.co.uk 0115 9831308
Treasurer David Bentley 236695 Membership Sec. John Catt email@example.com 211468
Publicity Officer Clive Davis C.Davis@connectfree.co.uk 0115 9831308
Newsletter Editor John Catt firstname.lastname@example.org 211468
Children's Officer Sophie Catt email@example.com 211468
Committee :- Roger Hill, Ruth Youngs and Anthony Kay.
Any letters or articles for inclusion in the newsletter should be sent to the Editor at 32 Bramcote Road,
Loughborough, LE11 2SA or E Mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAMPAIGN MEETINGS are held on the second Monday of the month at John Storer House at 7-30pm.
9th September Winter cycling and perceived risk.
14 th October Review of the National Cycling Strategy and its progress to date
11 th November Promoting cycling as transport for the young . Discussion led by Sophie Catt
9th December Yuletide party
Our subscriptions are very low to encourage membership, so if you are not already a member we very much hope you will consider joining us by filling in the application form below and sending it with your subscription to:
The Membership Secretary, Loughborough and District Cycle Users' Campaign, 32 Bramcote Road, Loughborough, Leics. LE11 2SA.
If you have any queries, please feel free to phone us on Loughborough 211468.